Arsenal face Sporting in the second-leg of their Europa League round-of-16 tie tomorrow night as the Gunners look to progress to the quarter-finals of the competition for the first time since the 2020/21 season.
Mikel Arteta’s options are looking are a lot better than they were a few weeks ago, however he still doesn’t full squad to choose from just yet with two players unavailable for Arsenal tomorrow night.
There had been hope that Eddie Nketiah would make a return to the squad before the international break but the injury to his ankle is worse than first feared and Arsenal’s number is set to be out of action until after the international break now.
Mikel Arteta on Eddie Nketiah:
“We have to be patient. It was a nasty injury and he has a big challenge ahead of him, it could have been worse. He’s still a few weeks away. It’s getting better. He’s still in the protective boot. Thank God it’s not as bad as it could have been.”
However, with one striker out, another one returns and Gabriel Jesus being back will a huge boost for Arsenal as the club aims to win their first Premier League title in 19 years, alongside competing in the Europa League as well…
Mikel Arteta speaking on Gabriel Jesus:
“Big boost. The first step today. We didn’t know if it was the right game today. He said to me a few days ago ‘I’m still missing something.’ Yesterday I looked in his eyes and he said ‘I’m ready’. I said ‘OK!’ So then we had the opportunity to throw him in.
It’s that first step to give him the big boost. He looks free, he looks ready and straight away he generated those two big chances. It’s great to have him back.”
As well as Eddie Nketiah, the only other player unavailable for Arsenal tomorrow night is Mohamed Elneny who has been ruled out for the season.